JANUARY SALE Subscribe for just £5 today CLICK HERE

Top five Christmas Markets

PUBLISHED: 10:18 29 November 2014 | UPDATED: 14:21 02 December 2014

Arras Christmas Market

Arras Christmas Market

Archant

For a Christmas shopping experience with a French flavour, hop across the Channel to visit one of the many festive marches de Noel. It makes for a great day trip with friends and family or why not make a weekend of it?

5 Christmas markets

Our top five French markets are all within 90 minutes of Calais and well worth a visit

1 Amiens: One of the biggest Christmas markets in the area, made more special by the spectacular 13th-century Gothic cathedral in the town. You won’t fail to be impressed by its breathtakingly beautiful lit-up façade when the free evening light show takes place.

Top tip: Parisian-style bistro La Brasserie-Jules is great for a lunch stop, the name is 
a nod to Amiens’ most famous resident, Jules Verne. www.brasserie-jules.fr

21-31 Dec: www.somme-tourisme.com

2 Arras: The magical Christmas market on the Grand Place is a place of enticing smells and tastes where hot spiced wine and fluffy waffles warm you up in the winter air. This is a market with something for everyone: 100 exhibitors, an ice rink, carousel and a giant box for kids to post their letters to Santa – and he doesn’t mind which language your letters are in.

Top tip: For a great-value meal, the Assiette au Boeuf, Grand’Place serves beef and French fries that the locals also adore, www.assietteauboeuf.fr

28 Nov to 30 Dec: www.explorearras.com

3 Boulogne: For one weekend only, 
but this Christmas market more than makes up for it with loads of charm in the perfectly preserved medieval upper town. Elves, Santa, petting zoo, light show – this is a super family Christmas event. Stroll around the ramparts, pop into the magnificent Notre-Dame Basilica and check out the quirky shops in rue de Lille for great present-buying opportunities from antiques to violet-scented ink.

Top tip: Rue de Lille is lined with restaurants, squeeze into the tiny bar called the Vole Hole in the city’s oldest building.

12-14 December: www.tourisme-boulognesurmer.com

4 Le Touquet: This chic seaside resort beloved by Parisians and savvy British tourists bursts into festive mood with beautiful twinkling lights throughout the town. The Christmas market is for one weekend, held in the lovely covered art-deco market, a listed monument. The shops here are of the high-end Parisian style. 
 There are lots of bars and brasseries 
to enjoy a celebratory meal to suit all budgets; why not indulge yourself at 
the Michelin-starred restaurant Le 
Pavillon at the Westminster Hotel?

Top tip: The town boasts several fabulous chocolatiers and specialist food shops; 
try Beussent for hand-made chocolate 
and Arts et Gourmand for traditional marshmallow.

See the lights from 28 November to 
31 December, Marché de Noel 13-14 December: www.letouquet.com

5 Licques: One of the most authentic and fun festive events in the north of France, the annual Turkey Festival is held in the ancient town of Licques, known to the locals as ‘Turkey Town’ as the birds have been bred here since medieval days. 
A weekend gastronomic fair culminates 
in the release of 100 turkeys to ‘rampage’ through the main street.

Actually it’s more of an amble, but it is great fun to watch the birds, accompanied by local guilds in all their finery.

Afterwards you can indulge your taste for mouth-watering French goodies in the huge gourmet marquee – and even buy a turkey for your own Christmas Day.

Top tip: There are a few places to eat in 
the town but it does get packed so head 
to Boulogne for more choice, or buy 
an artisan-baked loaf, cheese and ham 
at the fair and enjoy a winter picnic.

13-14 December: Turkey release 11am, 
14 December www.licques-volailles.fr

Something different

Artisan Christmas market in an ancient manor house in the gorgeous walled 
upper town of Montreuil-sur-Mer, just 
40 minutes from Calais.

Expat Brit Hannah France hosts local artisans for an intimate Christmas market in her home: 29-30 November 2014.

www.tourisme-montreuillois.com n

Get in touch

Janine Marsh is a travel writer and editor of 
www.thegoodlifefrance.com

More from Out & About

The season of romance is in the air and with fairytale castles, literary tales and iconic White Cliffs, where better to pop the question than in the Garden of England? Here are 10 of Kent's perfect places to propose

Read more

When funds are low and the family is going stir-crazy stuck indoors, here is some fun, free stuff to get you through

Read more
Mon, 16:04

The beautiful Hever Castle will launch snowdrop season with a talk followed by a woodland walk

Read more

Regularly voted one of Kent's best places to live, and with easy access to London, let's celebrate Sevenoaks

Read more
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The elusive snowdrop can be hard to find and before you know it, they're gone again, so we saved you the trouble and found some beautiful spots in Kent to go for a walk among the snowdrops

Read more

Want to get fitter, feed your brain or start a new hobby? The National Trust can help kickstart your 2020 plans

Read more

The run-up to Christmas can be stressful, so escape for a while by spending time reconnecting with nature

Read more
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Farmer Sandra Fagg adores Christmas and now she and husband Mike run their own reindeer centre and grotto

Read more
Friday, December 6, 2019

Counteract all that festive over-indulgence with a winter walk through National Trust-owned Kentish countryside

Read more
Friday, December 6, 2019

The swashbuckling panto opens this month to Dartford's Orchard Theatre and is sure to keep the whole family laughing

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life